The ancient Anasazi people were expert potters, creating pottery that was striking yet simple. They did not use potter's wheels or modern kilns, but only what was available in their surroundings. How did they make such elegant and practical pottery?
In this 3-day workshop, students will learn how to make their own clay pots and bowls in the traditional Anasazi style known as Anasazi Black on White. Using only tools and materials from the land, we will learn the various steps necessary to produce a primitive pot - from harvesting and processing the clay to the natural firing process.
Anasazi-style black-on-white pottery by Kelly Magleby
The workshop covers the following topics:
☼ Harvesting Clay - how to find and collect clay from the earth.
☼ Processing the clay - A water purifying technique that involves soaking the clay and cupping the pure clay off the top into another container, then letting the clay dry to the right consistency.
☼ Finding and collecting Temper - Sand, ground up pot shards, or certain types of ground up rocks are added to the clay.
☼ Hand-building techniques - using the “coil and scrape” or slab method. We will learn the use of various handmade tools, scapers and smoothers to help shape the pottery.
☼ Slip - the purpose of the slip is to give a light colored background to contrast the black paint.
☼ Burnishing - Burnishing is polishing or smoothening the surface of the pots with a polished stone. This can either smooth the pot or give it a glazed finish, depending on the stage of dryness of the pot.
☼ Painting the pots with paint made naturally from the Rocky Mountain Bee Plant. Make brushes out of Yucca leaves for painting.
☼ Primitive Firing in an Anasazi style trench kiln.
Dates: June 21-23, 2013 Cost: $95, includes instructions, materials and camping Location: True Nature Farm, Boulder, Utah To register: email info@TrueNatureFarm.org or call 435-335-7777 Limited spaces available – early pre-registration is advised.
Kelly Magleby Primitive Pottery Instructor
Kelly's love of Anasazi pottery started with her interest in primitive and survival skills while working for Anasazi Therapeutic Expeditions in Arizona. Kelly has spent much of her time camping and hiking throughout southern Utah and in the Four Corners area.
Following her passion for the both the Anasazi culture and primitive pottery, Kelly began making hand-built pots on her own while learning techniques from traditional pottery teachers and visits to museums. It wasn't long before she was out digging and processing clay and firing pots, always trying to keep true to the original process and materials used by the Anasazi.
Kelly loves to read the stories in the old pottery shards found throughout the Southwest... the thickness of the pottery walls, the type of temper used, and the size of the vessel all tell a tale of where and when they were made and the advanced civilization that had the skill and knowledge to create something so beautiful and unique. She loves the idea that one can go out and dig up some "dirt", shape it, paint it and fire it all using only things found in nature.
Kelly now teaches traditional pottery classes at primitive skills gatherings and workshops in Utah as well as local private classes. She currently lives in Orem, Utah. Her work can be found online at: www.AnasaziPottery.net
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